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When William Safire delineates the difference between misinformation and disinformation or "distances himself" from clichés, people sit up and take notice. Which is not to say that Safire's readers always take the punning pundit at his word: they don't, and he's got the letters to prove it. Among the entries in Coming to Terms, this all-new collection of Safire's "On Language" columns, you'll read the repartee of Lexicographic Irregulars great and small. John Haim of New York sets in concrete what properly to call a cement truck, while Charlton Heston challenges an interpretation of Hamlet's "to take arms against a sea of troubles" and Gene Shalit passes along his favorite Yogi Berra-ism. Bringing them all together are dozens of Safire's most illuminating and witty columns, from "Right Stuffing" to "Getting Whom." When William Safire comes to terms, there's never a dull moment.
One of America's foremost political columnists ties the Book of Job to the news of the day in a provacative exploration of how we can reshape politics by following Job's empowering example.From the Trade Paperback edition.
What would happen if the 41st President, while meeting with Russian leaders in the mid-1980s, were blinded in an assassination attempt?
These fifty humorous misrules of grammar will open the eyes of writers of all levels to fine style. How Not to Write is a wickedly witty book about grammar, usage, and style. William Safire, the author of the New York Times Magazine column "On Language," homes in on the "essential misrules of grammar," those mistakes that call attention to the major rules and regulations of writing. He tells you the correct way to write and then tells you when it is all right to break the rules. In this lighthearted guide, he chooses the most common and perplexing concerns of writers new and old. Each mini-chapter starts by stating a misrule like "Don't use Capital letters without good REASON." Safire then follows up with solid and entertaining advice on language, grammar, and life. He covers a vast territory from capitalization, split infinitives (it turns out you can split one if done meaningfully), run-on sentences, and semi-colons to contractions, the double negative, dangling participles, and even onomatopoeia. Originally published under the title Fumblerules.
The Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist describes his lifelong fascination with Norma Loquendi--common speech--in a collection of columns that celebrates the mysteries and continual evolution of the English language.From the Hardcover edition.
A sixth collection of his syndicated "On Language" columns.
Collection of On Language columns from the New York Times Sunday magazine. Safire's observations on language usage are always useful and sometimes amusing.
Highly informative and entertaining book about political thought up to the copyright date.
There is no wittier, more amiable or more astute word maven than Pulitzer Prizewinning columnist William Safire. For many people, the first item on the agenda for Sunday morning is to sit down and read Safire's "On Language" column in The New York Times Magazine, then to compose a "Gotcha" letter to the Times. Each of his books on language is a classic, to be read, re-read and fought over. Safire is the beloved, slightly crotchety guru of contemporary vocabulary, speech, language, usage and writing, as close as we are likely to get to a modern Samuel Johnson. Fans, critics and fellow language mavens eagerly await his books on language. This one is no exception. William Safire has written the weekly New York Times Magazine column "On Language" since 1979. His observations on grammar, usage and etymology have led to the publication of fourteen "word books" and have made him the most widely read writer on the English language today. The subjects for his columns come from his insights into the current political scene, as well as from technology, entertainment and life in general. Known for his delight in catching people (especially politicians) who misuse words, he is not above tackling his own linguistic gaffes. Safire examines and comments on language trends and traces the origins of everyday words, phrases and clichés to their source. Scholarly, entertaining, lively and thoughtful, Safire's pointed commentaries on popular language and culture are at once provocative and enlightening. Want the 411 on what's phat and what's skeevy? Here's the "straight dope" on everything from "fast-track legislation" to "the Full Monty," with deft and well-directed potshots at those who criticize, twist the usage of or misunderstand the meaning of such classic examples of American idiom as "grow'd like Topsy," "and the horse you rode in on," "drop a dime" (on someone), "go figure" and hundreds more, together with sharp, witty and passionately opinionated letters from both ordinary readers and equally irate or puzzled celebrities who have been unable to resist picking up a pen to put Mr. Safire in his place or to offer detailed criticism, additional examples or amusing anecdotes. No Uncertain Terms is a boisterous and brilliant look at the oddities and foibles of our language. Not only "a blast and a half," but wise, clever and illuminating, it is a book that Mencken would have loved and that should be on the desk (or at the bedside) of everyone who shares Mr. Safire's profound love of the English language and his penchant for asking, "Where does that come from?"This new collection is a joy that will spark the interest of language lovers everywhere.
The Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist discusses contemporary figures of speech, from witty stories about expressions such as "kiss and tell" and "stab in the back" to the evolution of "read my lips."NOTE: This edition does not include illustrations.
For the past twenty-five years Americans have relied on Pulitzer Prize-winning wordsmith William Safire for their weekly dose of linguistic illumination in The New York Times Magazine's column "On Language" -- one of the most popular features of the magazine and a Sunday-morning staple for innumerable fans. He is the most widely read writer on the English language today. Safire is the guru of contemporary vocabulary, speech, language, usage and writing. Dedicated and disputatious readers itch to pick up each column and respond to the week's linguistic wisdom with a gotcha letter to the Times. The Right Word in the Right Place at the Right Time marks the publication of Safire's sixteenth book on language. This collection is a classic to be read, re-read, enjoyed and fought over. Fans, critics and fellow linguists wait with bated (from the French abattre "to beat down") breath for each new anthology -- and, like its predecessors, this one is bound to satisfy and delight. Safire finds fodder for his columns in politics and current events, as well as in science, technology, entertainment and daily life. The self-proclaimed card-carrying language maven and pop grammarian is not above tackling his own linguistic blunders as he detects language trends and tracks words, phrases and clichés to their source. Scholarly, entertaining and thoughtful, Safire's critical observations about language and slanguage are at once provocative and enlightening. Safire is America's go-to guy when it comes to language, and he has included sharp and passionately opinionated letters from readers across the English-speaking world who have been unable to resist picking up a pen to put the maven himself in his place or to offer alternate interpretations, additional examples, amusing anecdotes or just props. The Right Word in the Right Place at the Right Time is a fascinating, learned and piquant look at the oddities and foibles that find their way into the English language. Exposing linguistic hooey and rigamarole and filled with Safire's trademark wisdom, this book has a place on the desk or bedside table of all who share his profound love of the English language -- as well as his penchant for asking "What does that mean?" Or, "Wassat?" This new collection is sure to delight readers, writers and word lovers everywhere and spark the interest of anyone who has ever wondered, "Where did the phrase 'brazen hussy' come from?"
Safire's definitions-- discursive, historically aware, anecdotal-- bring a savvy perspective to our colorful political lingo. It reads like a mini-essay in political history, and readers will come away with a fuller understanding of particular words.
This book is set at the end of the eighteenth century, and it reveals details about the intimate lives of Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson. The author recounts the dramatic clash of the Founders and the first journalists, drawn from actual events of the nation's beginnings. Scandalmonger is dramatized history at its best and presidential politics at its most fascinating.
In the wake of an important KGB agent's disappearance, an event of international proportions, journalist Irving Fein teams up with a television anchorwoman and stumbles on the story of a lifetime. From the Hardcover edition.
"The ninth volume of tidbits of stylistic wit and wisdom from a man willing to display his grammar in public. . . . Yet again, readers will find that William Safire's apparently endless capacity to be fascinated by language is highly contagious. " --Kirkus Reviews America's most entertaining language maven is back with more words to live by in his latest exploration of hot catchphrases, syntactical controversies, and other matters of national linguistic importance. Before you scratch that seven-year-itch, you might want to know where it came from. And before someone blurts, "You just don't get it," perhaps you should consult the Pulitzer Prize winning language columnist on the origins of that snappy feminist motto. InWatching My Language, William Safire investigates these questions and many others, including: What language was Bill Clinton speaking when he fumed, "I want to put a fist halfway down their throats with this. . . . I want their teeth on the sidewalk ?" Why is Ukraine no longer the Ukraine? Should there be an insurrection against this usage? Did baseball manager Leo Durocher really say, "Nice guys finish last" ? Who deserves credit for coining the expressions policy wonk, digerati, and Not!? William Safire, a man hip enough to explore the meaning of hip-hop, answers these questions and many more in this witty and enlightening collection. Praise for William Safire "Safire infuses his verbiage with humor, timely examples, and quotes, resulting in mini-essays that are informative and intriguing. " --Nashville Banner "Wonderful. . . . Where once stood your seventh-grade English teacher guarding the narrow gates of good usage and correct grammar now stands William Safire. . . . His true calling is chasing down first-time uses of a trendy phrase, spotting literary allusions, and most of all, keeping the American language on the straight and narrow. . . . Your old English teacher would approve. " --The Dallas Morning News